3 Different Roof Underlayment Types

Posted By An Coon

When it comes to roofing, the underlayment is a critical component that often goes unnoticed. However, choosing the right type of underlayment can significantly impact the longevity and performance of your roof. In this guide, we’ll explore three different types of roof underlayment, their characteristics, and their benefits to help you make an informed decision for your home.

Inside this blog:

  • The 3 key types of roof underlayment
  • Features + functions of each underlayment type

Keep reading to explore the 3 primary types of roofing underlayment and figure out which one will be the best for your next roofing project!

1. Asphalt-Saturated Felt Underlayment


Asphalt-saturated felt underlayment, also known as felt paper or tar paper, has been a staple in roofing for decades. Made from organic or fiberglass materials coated with asphalt, this type of underlayment offers several advantages:


The affordability of asphalt-saturated felt underlayment makes it an attractive option for homeowners seeking cost-effective solutions for their roofing projects. Unlike some other types of underlayment that may come with a higher price tag, asphalt-saturated felt offers a budget-friendly alternative without compromising on quality or performance.


The waterproofing capabilities of asphalt-saturated felt underlayment are paramount in safeguarding your roof against the damaging effects of moisture infiltration. The asphalt coating serves as a robust barrier, effectively sealing out water and preventing it from seeping through to the underlying roof deck. This impermeable layer acts as a first line of defense, shielding your home’s interior from water damage caused by rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation.


Asphalt-saturated felt, despite not boasting the same level of durability as certain synthetic underlayments, still offers commendable resilience and protection during the roof installation process. Its durability lies in its ability to provide a reliable temporary barrier against water intrusion until the final roofing material is laid.

Ease of Installation

The ease of installation is a significant advantage of felt paper, making it a popular choice for both DIY enthusiasts and professional roofers alike. Unlike some other types of underlayment that require specialized tools or techniques, felt paper can be installed using standard roofing equipment and basic skills, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

2. Synthetic Underlayment


Synthetic underlayment, often made from polyethylene or polypropylene materials, is a newer alternative to traditional asphalt-saturated felt. Here are some benefits of synthetic underlayment:

Enhanced Durability

The enhanced durability of synthetic underlayment makes it a preferred choice for roofing projects due to its superior resistance to various environmental stressors. Unlike traditional asphalt-saturated felt, which can be prone to tearing, wrinkling, and degradation from UV exposure, synthetic underlayment is engineered with advanced materials that provide enhanced strength and resilience.


The lightweight nature of synthetic underlayment is a significant advantage that simplifies the roofing installation process in various ways. Unlike traditional felt paper, which can be heavy and cumbersome, synthetic underlayment is engineered to be lighter in weight, making it easier for roofers to handle, transport, and maneuver on the job site.

Improved Traction

Improved traction is a significant advantage of synthetic underlayment, particularly during the installation process. Unlike traditional felt underlayment, which can sometimes be slippery, synthetic underlayment often comes with textured surfaces designed to enhance grip and stability for roofers working on steep slopes or challenging roof configurations.


Breathability is a key feature of synthetic underlayment that sets it apart as a modern and effective solution for roofing systems. Unlike traditional underlayments that may trap moisture and lead to condensation issues, synthetic underlayment is specially designed to promote airflow and ventilation within the attic space.

3. Rubberized Asphalt Underlayment

Rubberized asphalt underlayment, also known as peel-and-stick underlayment, is a premium option known for its superior performance and durability. Here’s why homeowners choose rubberized asphalt underlayment:

Exceptional Waterproofing

The exceptional waterproofing properties of rubberized asphalt underlayment set it apart as a superior choice for safeguarding roofs against water infiltration and moisture damage. Unlike conventional underlayment materials, rubberized asphalt underlayment features a unique composition that combines asphalt with rubber polymers, resulting in a highly effective waterproof barrier.


The self-adhesive property of rubberized asphalt underlayment is a game-changer in the roofing industry, offering numerous advantages over traditional underlayment materials.

Unlike conventional underlayments that rely on mechanical fasteners like nails or staples to secure them to the roof deck, rubberized asphalt underlayment comes equipped with a special adhesive backing that activates upon contact with the roof deck’s surface.


The flexibility of rubberized asphalt underlayment is a key feature that sets it apart from other types of roofing underlayments. This flexibility is achieved through its unique composition, which includes a blend of rubberized asphalt and reinforcing fibers. As a result, the underlayment exhibits a remarkable ability to bend, stretch, and conform to the shape of the roof, regardless of its contours or irregularities.


With its robust construction and premium materials, rubberized asphalt underlayment has a longer lifespan than other types of underlayment, providing reliable protection for decades.

Unlike traditional underlayment options, which may deteriorate over time due to exposure to sunlight, moisture, and temperature fluctuations, rubberized asphalt underlayment is engineered to withstand these environmental factors with ease. Its premium materials are specifically chosen for their resilience, ensuring that the underlayment remains intact and effective for an extended period.

Choose Wisely for a Stronger Roof

When it comes to selecting the right underlayment for your roof, consider factors such as budget, durability, and climate conditions. Whether you opt for traditional asphalt-saturated felt, modern synthetic underlayment, or premium rubberized asphalt underlayment, investing in quality underlayment is essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of your roof.

By understanding the benefits of each type of underlayment, you can make an informed decision and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your home is well-protected from the elements.

Contact our expert contractors at Boss Exteriors when you’re ready to upgrade your home’s exterior. We can’t wait to hear your questions and help you bring your next home improvement project to life. So for top-notch workmanship and excellent customer service, reach out to us today.


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